Akina prepared to file suit against Kahuku

Kahuku boys basketball coach Alan Akina coached in a game in January of 2015. Photo by Kat Wade/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Kahuku boys basketball coach Alan Akina coached in a game in January of 2015. Photo by Kat Wade/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Silence is not golden, according to Alan Akina.

The Kahuku boys basketball coach was forced to step down over the weekend, and he does not plan on going away quietly.

“We’ve been trying to reach them, the school administration, but they won’t return my calls,” said Akina’s attorney, Eric Seitz. “I’m in a position to help them resolve this. Without any contact, we’re going to end up suing them.”

Akina declined to comment, but sources indicate that a parents meeting with Kahuku administrators before the ongoing Punahou Invitational tournament led the administrators to call the tourney and pull out. Punahou coach Darren Matsuda pleaded with the administrators to stay in the tourney — the team was contractually obliged anyway — but Akina was told not to take the team.

With one of his guards out with an injury, he called up one of his sons, Kawika, from the JV team, and another JV player. That may have violated one of the stipulations set by administration when tensions flared last season.

The Red Raiders went to the tourney anyway, and as many as 10 seniors responded by sitting out and watching the game in street clothes from the bleachers at Punahou’s Hemmeter Fieldhouse.

That was on Saturday. By Monday, Akina was the one watching from the bleachers, having been removed. An interim coach was put in his place, and the full roster was on the bench.

On Monday, after the team returned from the tournament, a players meeting with administration was interrupted by parents, according to one source.

By today, Akina had secured Seitz for representation. The question of whether Akina was stipulated to leave Kawika Akina on the JV is a question only the coach and his players can answer, as well as the parents who have led the battle against their coach.

The basic gripe is that the coach calls too many plays for his older son, Keanu, to shoot the basketball. Even if there are other options.

“We think he’s a good guy. He’s like a mentor to us,” said senior guard Kenny Spencer, who scored five points in the second overtime to lead Kahuku over No. 7 Kalaheo 53-49 on Tuesday.

“We just want to move ahead and focus on basketball,” Spencer said.

Seitz says that will not be possible as long as his client gets the proverbial stiff-arm from administrators. A potential lawsuit could be brought to court by Monday morning, he said.

“What we’re going to try and do is get Alan restored as head coach. This is a situation in which there are some very spoiled parents who are trying to dictate to the school and in turn to the coach how he runs his team,” said Seitz, who attended today’s game and sat next to Akina. “Regrettably, the athletic director (Gillian Yamagata) and principal (Pauline Masaniai) don’t know how to handle the situation. The coach has been removed on an interim basis without any explanation. The kids are caught in the middle of this. It’s an atrocious situation of adults acting badly and hurting kids.”

In recent years, the new administration, led by Masaniai, incurred the wrath of then-coaches by requiring them to re-apply for positions despite years of success on and off the fields and courts. Most of them refused to re-apply and walked away, including boys basketball coach Darren Johnson. Johnson was suspended during his last season there after being assaulted on the court by a parent.


  1. Reel Talk January 4, 2016 7:00 pm

    @Bawlah, so in the OU-Kansas game today between #1 and #2, with under 10 seconds left and OU with the ball down by 1, the OU player didn’t know how to inbounds the ball, it got stolen, and now KU is shooting Ft’s.

    The OU player never made a simple ball fake that is taught in youth leagues. So going on your philosophy that good coaches teach these simple thing and if they don’t know how to do it then get a new coach, the OU coach of the #2 team in the nation should be fired?

  2. bawlah January 5, 2016 3:56 pm

    @reel talk…if he can’t inbounds the ball, what the hell is he doing taking it out??? And yes that coach recruited him, and yes that coach coaches him. You pointed it out!!! It’s a simple play, “simple ball fake that is taught in youth leagues” according to you! At that level, all the details of a game are gone over with the team. You can’t tell me little kids are doing it, and then in the same breath act like a #2 team should be ok with this kind of mistake. Everybody makes mistakes though. You acting like this is the end of the world. There’s a lot of basketball to be played, and that player probably won’t make that same mistake again.

    I’ve been pointing out that if a team, specifically Kahuku, can’t break a press (because you said they can’t) because the kids don’t know how to dribble, they shouldn’t be on the team. If they CAN’T DRIBBLE!!! What in the world are you going to use someone for if he or she can’t dribble as a guard?? That’s a stupid question. Are you keeping them just to be cheerleaders? Water boys?? Because if you’re playing that player that can’t dribble, then it’s on you as a coach since you decided to play someone that doesn’t know the fundamentals of the game. Coach can’t blame anyone else. Coach kept him, coach played him, so it’s on the coach.

    So are the kids from Kahuku really as bad as you say they are?? I doubt it. I bet they make a run at states just because of their defense alone. Hello, it’s Kahuku! Long, fly around, athletic will get you very far in Hawaii basketball. Winning states is a different story. That takes good coaching.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.